Transmuting the school system, to support everyone! (pt2)
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- I added two days at MELV because I realized the school system is going to have a very hard time recovering from how low they have stooped in the treatment of children. In fact, I do not believe they will ever be able to find their way back to treating children with the respect we all deserve, and I do not want my children to continue to wait. I woke one morning and realized that we needed to adopt something, where I am not the only one supporting their development, so they can see another perspective of life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with school or daycare, so long as it is done on the child's terms, with their limits and needs in mind, and so long it is something they are ready for, and want to attend. I have a policy that: I do not pay for programs to force my children to attend. They either want to go and I pay, or they don't want to go and we save our money! This is the problem with the illusion of "free education", it's not free. It cost us deeply, for a very long time. I'd rather pay and chart a healthy path for my family. Not to be the best, but to have a sovereign life, that we are all entitled to!!
- we have since increased our days at MELV to 3 days per week, one of which I stay with our youngest (19 months old) and we consider this her entry into "daycare", because, again, there is no way I will send my kids anywhere where they are made to feel like there is something wrong with them, and if they do not follow the rules, they could k-ill someone. As a result, the ONLY thing we are doing in the public system right now is: our grade 3 son attends his online art class, for about 1hr once per week, and I will continue to peruse the google classroom offerings for grade 3 (not kindergarten) for things that may interest or benefit him, or any of our kids or family, time allowing. With MELV, karate, skiing, skating, coding, dance, gymnastics, swimming, art, 8hrs/wk of dedicated play time with my adult friend (aka, what others might call babysitting), rest, self-care, and a social life, we are kind of full up already, and doing great! Learning happens everywhere!
I hope this helps to inspire you, to see that there are MANY ways of doing things, and below are more ideas for you to consider (live links are available in the original article, linked above, as well as more information above and beneath what is included here):
- For the summer, Lasalle Wadding Pool and Nelson Outdoor (direct access, no mask) Pool
- For the winter, a lot of families are using whatever slopes they can find to toboggan, and some are even boarding on these hills. Skating rinks have popped up on baseball diamonds and pond, with the town either not opening their doors, or people having no interest in jumping through the m-ass-k hoops. Glen Eden has finally opened for skiing, which is great with most families at home and able to take advantage of the the reduced price - 5 days 7 nights pass. Note, Glen Eden is a Halton Park, so read below on rules to book your time.
- Halton Parks: You may still need to sign up for a 2hr timeslot online in advance.
- Coronation Park: always a good free option, some people even swim there, but I am not sure this is advised! The large covered seating areas were closed (not sure about now)
- Rockwood Park: has a small sandy beach, forest walking trails, no boats for rent at the moment but you can bring your own. There are also some small caves to explore, bridges to cross, waterfalls, and beautiful places to sit. The only rule is not to jump off the cliffs. They do not allow anyone in after they reach capacity, even if other people leave. In the warmer seasons, they tended to reach capacity by 10am on the weekends and not at all on the weekdays. Who knows what it will be like this summer as many people may have found a way to balance their life better to be at home with their kids, Cost $3 per child over 5yrs of age, and $7.50 per adult. Camping spots still available on weekdays.
- RBG: has a few parks that do not require you to go inside to access (i.e., the Arboretum and Hendrie Park, direct access, on the opposite side of Plains Rd from the main building. My guess is Laking Garden is the same). It appears all of these direct access parks are $3/hr for parking, no membership appears to be required. The signs ask people not to meet there to socially gather and not to stay longer than 1.5hrs, to give others a chance. No masks required, just social distance with other guests.
- Rattray Marsh: has rocky beach access, where some people swim in the waves, though I would not with my little ones. There are many playgrounds, a splashpad, a possible hotdog vendor, and stroller-accessible boardwalk trails through cattail marshes. The easiest place to park to access this area is: Jack Darling Memorial Park (1180 Lakeshore Rd. West)
- Lions Valley is also a nice place to go, apparently dogs can swim there, there is a limited playground, with more obstacle style equipment, no slides, and limited parking.
- Binbrook: $5 cash to enter. Its busy on the weekends, not on the weekdays. The splash pad is closed, but there are gazebos, a kids play structure, and walking trails. The big WIN are the TreeTop Trekking options (but call in advance, as we discovered this week, they are not open every day, and they close for the colder season): The TreeWalk Village is for kids 0-17, kids <3yrs are free, 3-17yrs are $20 each, and adults are $7 each, for 2hrs. You can not send your kids in without an adult, but the adult does not have to (but can) climb. It is totally doable by a confident walking baby, with a bit of help, beware the slides are fast in the middle, slow at the end. The Discovery Courses are for kids 5yrs and up, as long as they are 45inches or taller. Kids are connected to a cable system, which means they can not fall off, and if they can not complete the obstacle course they have the option to just lift their feet and ride the course zipline-style to the end. The cost is $25 for 1.5hrs, ride/climb as many times as you want. The Arial Tracks are for ages 9yrs and up, as long as they are 55inches or taller, and are responsible enough to hook their harness into the safety wire on their own, and complete all obstacles (as they can not just lift their feet to get a ride to the end). We only saw adults on these track. The cost is likely also $25 for 1.5hrs of unlimited climbing. The times are set (i.e., 1-3pm, 3-5pm, 130-3pm, etc., and they end early), so book ahead to avoid disappointment. Also, you have to sign a waiver for each person (on your phone or using their ipad), even adults and babies, so it may be nice to do this from the comfort of your own home. They have flushable, portable bathrooms, with soap and paper, and enough room to go in and help your child, if need be.
- I understand, not everyone is open to indoor play, but when you are, this is a great opportunity: We Rock The Spectrum (for all kids, ages 0-13yrs), Private Facility Rental, $75+tx for up to 10 people (including adults), 45min break between sessions, where the gym is cleaned using a sanitizer mixed with water, no smell, often used at schools and daycares, safe even on food surfaces. Owner wears a mask, attendees don't have to, as it is with your unique bubble of 10 people. Atendees need to wash their hands or use sanitizer before entering the gym, and they must sign the corporate waiver. Location: 245 Wyecroft Rd, Unit 3, Oakville, Ontario. Reach out to owner Tatiana (905-337-0101) to book your spot, when you are ready.